In short, you can’t judge our worst because you don’t appreciate our best.
Yes, it’s the Marilyn quote writ spergy.
It’s a form of manipulation that snidely suggests: unless you cede ground (cheerleading for us, hang Burden of Proof), you must have no ground to cede (intones reciprocity may be given in exchange like a con artist). It assumes the target must qualify themselves and positions the speaker as Moral Authority, without the merest mention of biographical proof for that, highest of statuses (people often engaged in debates over morality rarely have a moral compass to speak of, they are simply virtue signalling in comparing how relatively bad they are to one another like a pissing match of STDs and bad decisions).
I want to clarify a few things from this point without insulting SSC who is a brilliant writer I respect the intelligence of. This isn’t going to be precise because I think the fallacy is baseless.
The tumblr example is terrible, there’s a third variable causing the row, claiming the social status of doctor when its value is in its earning. Beth is claiming she is the moral equivalent of a Doctor because she can use Google. Alice is correct but worded her complaint poorly (doesn’t make her wrong).
The supposed weak man fallacy is actually based on stereotype, and these are empirically valid social constructs (the dark secret of liberal social psychology) connecting demographic to characteristic behaviour so arguing against them is like pissing in the rhetorical wind, the train is fine!
No literally, you can disprove the postmodern ‘stereotypes are mean lies’ people with maths. A lot of this is clever high-level social intelligence leveraged against the dumb and dishonest. It appears dumb to spergs until the person using these tactics wins, at which point the sperg assumes a fallacy must have been committed and the winner must be dialectic-ally, factually wrong because they can’t personally understand it (a common issue with the supposed rationalist community).
The fastest way to get someone to self-identify their moral issues is to openly criticize those issues and wait for them to argue against you, because it’s personal to them and you identified them without needing to address them by name, but by flaw, and they will argue against you whatever the content of your own argument, however blank and vacant and subjective e.g. I hate women who slut around, any woman objecting is identifying herself as a slut or I hate entitled men who think they’re everything while proving nothing, any man objecting is identifying as entitled, to hold such egoistic beliefs without pragmatic grounds i.e. narcissist.
I hate (group) who do (thing).
It’s very precise and an effective rhetorical shiv. It’s also self-contained logic. You can’t reason against it, if the assertion itself is true (stereotypical). Yes, in reality, they do.
Sometimes people trying to wield this take it too far and go into motivation (cheap Freud knockoffs without formal qualification, see Dr thing above for deserved societal disdain). Such secondary assertions can be argued against (reasons, motives) and rhetorically bring the whole house down despite how the original assertion is in fact statistically significant, but score 1 for the enemy, numbnuts. You overplayed your hand.
Not All (group) is missing the point, unless *All* was similarly overplayed or implied by the original assertion, while achieving the opposition’s aim of outing that very group, so you can hold them socially accountable for their actions (more on this below). It’s like playing Spot the Vegan or the remarkably dull reply of “Well I identify as a feminist!” Yes, you blithering idiot, I was hoping you would. Game on.
This is crucial so, when losing, they can’t fall back on the “I was just playing Devil’s Advocate” card, a third person neutral objective perspective card. Personal is the opposite of those things.
As for belief systems, pointing out inconsistencies and reasoning from the most evil behaviour up is rather logical. Membership of ideological groups is a choice and all members support by the very fact of their identification support their group’s most insane ideas, what is often referred to as privilege is actually a refusal to question their own behaviour and decision-making skills, psychological immaturity from any adult, a refusal to overcome their ego, for example, MGTOW refuse to question male choices nor admit poor male decision-making exists, so now they’re gaining a reputation as hateful as feminists. Since no adult is blameless and it’s a victimhood mentality to blame authority figures for your own fuck-ups.
They are trying to excuse the bad eggs by pointing to the good eggs, while the whole point of the argument is that the good eggs are by their chosen membership in the group shielding the bad eggs from the criticism the argument is attempting to provide, perhaps to find a solution together and correct it for communal benefit. It’s also a failure to apply the same logical proposition broadly, so if you cannot make a specific type of decision in one area e.g. this is good wife material, it’s a symptom of a deeper error in decision making (quality assessment, personal preference) that will affect all other areas of life too, in deeper and more obscure ways.
Weak man isn’t even its own fallacy, it’s moving the goalposts (metaphorically fleeing) and putting words in the other person’s mouth by making premise assumptions (straw man), up to and including a conspiratorial evil plan e.g. against Jews, that must be reasoned as true from the opponent’s own argument to be accepted in debate. You don’t hang someone on the basis of the testimony of their enemy, but you can hang them on their own. If the person says evil things, it can be assumed they have evil intent e.g. Kill All Men. If they do not, or give another plausible explanation, they must be given benefit of the doubt, hence innocent until proven guilty.
Relating to the bad egg example;
Why would you shield someone personally if you thought what they were doing was wrong?
This mode of argument entices our hidden motives, evil ones, such as those anti-tradition and anti-civilization ones commonly held by SJWs.
Intellectual honesty values the dialectic correction to short-term rhetorical (political) victory. Lose the battle, win the
The simplest rhetorical spurn I can give is;
(Commonly accepted Evil demo) weren’t all bad, they (did good thing).
The Nazis weren’t all bad, they saved countless lives with their medical research.
Technically true, yet missing the point of any ideological argument.
Or on a personal behaviour level;
Hitler was an atheist vegan who loved dogs.